Back In the Day when Friday Mattered


Friday was a big deal back in the day. Not so much when I was teaching — teaching college and university writing is a 7 day/week job — but when I was living the clerical life as a paralegal at a large Denver law firm, the very one started by Supreme Court Justice Gorsuch’ grandfather. The name was Gorsuch, Kirgis, Campbell, Walker and Grover. Try saying that very fast on the phone with marbles in your mouth.

Friday could mean a dash across the street to a restaurant known as The Broker for all you can eat peel and eat shrimp with my friend Eve, who was a young attorney, her husband, an accountant and his accountant buddies. It involved lots of shrimp, lots of booze and lots of laughing. Then I walked home to my efficiency apartment on Humboldt Street. It was in one of those faux Spanish buildings built in the 70s with lots of faux wrought iron and faux plaster in the hallways, so over-the-top it looked like bat guano.

One Friday afternoon walking home from work, I noticed an apartment building I had always liked had a for rent sign in the window. I went in, talked to the manager, got the apartment. It was more money and more space (it was a one bedroom!) than my efficiency and I had no furniture, but I loved it. My house in Monte Vista is very similar. Still faux Spanish (what is this, a theme?) but less faux, if that makes sense. The building (The Dalton) has a lot of history and is now owned by a company. If you Google “The Dalton, Denver”, you can see my actual apartment. Fancified and so on for these modern times, but…

In that apartment I made a lot of art — paintings and linoleum cuts. I wrote stories, too. I had dinner guests and held a couple of parties, but usually Friday nights were MINE. I loved living there. It felt like a haven of “Martha” in the vast sea of people making money and getting married. I wasn’t doing either. I chronicled one of those Friday nights with my Kodak 35 mm. By the time I was doing linoleum cuts (inspired by those done by Picasso I saw at the National Gallery in DC when I went for the second part of the Foreign Service Test [which I failed])  I had taken apart my bed, rolled up the futon and set it against the wall. Someone had given me a daybed and I converted my bedroom into a studio because I needed the space to lay out the prints to dry.

Says something about priorities, I guess.


Long, long ago in a faraway land known as Denver, Colorado, I loved a beautiful man and he loved me. He was brilliant, funny, irreverent, sophisticated — and primarily gay. He had nice parents, too. His mother was a teacher and his dad a shrink, both lived in Gary, Indiana.

I know you’re singing from The Music Man, now. I can hear you, “Gary Indiana, Gary Indiana, la la,” but please don’t let YOUR singing imply that Peter fit the gay stereotype of loving musical comedy. He didn’t. Still and all, this quotation from the musical says a lot about our lives at the time, “Never let the demands of tomorrow, interfere with the pleasures of today.”

I got to know his father quite well because he often came to visit.

Naturally, as Peter and I were extremely cool and intellectual young people, we lived on Capital Hill. My apartment at the time had a nice pool and sauna. It was a basic 1960s/70s apartment in the faux Spanish style. The stucco on the ceilings in the lobby and hallway was often compared to bat guano, as in, “Why didn’t you open the door? You buzzed me in. You knew I was here, but instead you left me standing out here under the bat guano,” but otherwise it was pretty nondescript. I had a large efficiency apartment with built in bed/sofas. One end of the apartment was a floor to ceiling window looking out on the parking lot. Across the alley and a row of houses, I could see my boyfriend’s apartment, the top floor in a 3 story turn of the century (19th to 20th) converted family home.

One evening, after supper, we all went for a swim. It was the first time I’d met Peter’s father. There was a camera involved — odd because that ONLY happened once. Peter stood on the edge of the pool trying to get both swimmers (heads mostly underwater) into the frame. To do this he yelled, “Relate! Relate!”

I still think that is hilarious.



In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Ode to a Playground.” A place from your past or childhood, one that you’re fond of, is destroyed. Write it a memorial.

Everything attached to those moments has an air of sanctity — I feel it. I stand in the marble-walled hallway between floors of the old bank building that houses the law firm where I just started working. I’m wearing a wool suit in shades not unlike the color of Monument Valley (where I had not yet been); not pure wool (too hot, too expensive) and a shirt that coordinates (pale peach). I don’t know what I’m doing. They’ve sent me downstairs to the law library to research something about Antelope Island. An oil company wants to exert eminent domain (I don’t know what that is, either) and I’m supposed to find precedents for that not happening. I think, oddly, we’re litigating on behalf of the downtrodden and the environment. Weird.

I’m here (though I don’t know it) because the son of a judge who recommended me is the favorite son of the partners and THEY think the judge’s son’s recommendation means the judge’s son and I are lovers. They want the judge’ good will; they think he’ll give favorable decisions to his son. He’s not the only son of a judge working there, either.

We’re not lovers. We’re friends.

They want to make the judge’s son happy, but he really couldn’t care less. When the firm learns this, they regret their decision to hire this MA in English, but over time, it works out. In my naivete, I don’t realize how much of the world is actually controlled by 1) men, 2) connections and 3) sex.

I have a long way to go in life, and for some reason I apprehend that fact in a few moments on those marble steps. I sit and realize that I will not forget that moment (I haven’t) even though I don’t know what makes it memorable, not at that moment and not now, remembering it.

A few months ago, after I dropped a friend off at the Denver Airport (DIA) I drove home on a semi-familiar freeway (though, in Colorado, it is always called “the Interstate;” California changed me). The city of my youth had vanished, swallowed up by some other place, under so many other people who think they know Denver, who think they belong to Colorado. The rising sun hit the peaks of the Front Range in a very familiar way. The mountains spoke (as always) asserting their immutability (but they’re not immutable — I now know there was even, once, another range of Rocky Mountains)

The only playground is my self, my physical being, my senses, my mind. The Sunday morning Denver streets, 11 am, on which I walked/ran down to Meiningers Art Supply were already changing even as I tripped along them toward Arches cold pressed water color paper back in 1980. The paper would change (I’d paint on it). The molecules in everything are blasting away constantly and all that hold them together is my consciousness. And nostalgia.

My City Was Gone

Historical Novel Society Conference, Day 1


Last night I drove through the Heavenly San Luis Valley, over Poncha Pass and down into Colorado Springs from Salida through the Arkansas River valley. The Arkansas River is very high because of all the late spring snow and rain. Beautiful to see everything so incredibly green.


Arkansas River

The dogs and I arrived in Colorado Springs at our friends’ house and I got to go hear my friends’ band last night and have a great meal at The Margarita at Pine Creek. When you go back to old haunts and stomping grounds after years and years, you might experience — as I have — some strange convergences. It was at this place that my brother and his friends had their one and only art exhibit back in the mid 70s…


Jazzbeau’s New Review

Today I drove up to Denver for the conference. So far — as the conference hasn’t officially begun — there’s not much to do. There are lots of sincere people wandering around looking bespectacled and shy. I received a “goody” bag that was filled with book promotion book-marks and postcards and an actual novel. I cannot imagine (the cost alone would be deadly!) of sharing 300+ copies of a book just like that to people who might not want it. Anyway, I was freaked out and intimidated a couple days ago, but now I’m here, I’m not.

It seems like an English teacher’s convention so I fit right in.

Thought the conference does not officially begin until tonight, I was obliged to come this afternoon because I had a pre-arranged meeting with a semi-famous author who was going to “mentor” the first chapter of the novel I’m working on. He had some good suggestions, but overall I don’t think it was his cup of tea. Hard to say. His job wasn’t to encourage me, but to offer a critique and give his reaction response. I did appreciate his pointing out in a concrete way problems with point of view. Others have said, but no one showed and I had no idea what they meant exactly… His comments are similar to those made by people in the RIP writer’s workshop, that it’s hard to follow the characters. No one who has read the whole novel has mentioned that as a problem at all so… I am not saying he’s wrong; I’m simply inclined to wonder if he considered that he’s read 10 pages out of 270. “It’s like Tolstoy,” I hear again because it involves more than one main character and a major turning point in history. I love Tolstoy, especially his novella, Prisoner of the Caucasus. 🙂

Otherwise, I just don’t know.

Tomorrow morning, I’m supposed to be pitching the book to an agent and after that I’m free for a few hours and I might go see my former home town which has turned into an upscale suburb of LA, as far as I can tell so far. My hotel is in the southeast suburb of Aurora (I think) in a spot that was, when I last lived here, so far out of town that savvy people figured the whole “industrial park” would go bust in five years. Clearly it didn’t and it’s no longer in the back of beyond.

Tonight I get to see a goodl friend from my youth. I haven’t seen her in about 10 years so that will be wonderful.


My City Was Gone

I was young once and it doesn’t seem all that long ago. Thirty years ago? I’d say that would be about right. Thirty, thirty-five years ago I lived in Denver, Colorado. I was restless, eager for change, filled with wanderlust. I wanted a bigger world; I wanted a thing I called “exposure.” I wanted to see things. Denver frustrated me. It was ALMOST a city but not really. Not like I’d seen many cities at that point — it was all ahead of me. Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Zürich, Milan, Venice, Munich, Paris (the airport…). I didn’t think anything would ever happen.

Still and all, I loved my city. I loved that it was only a short drive to open space; I loved that I could get in my VW Bug and head up over Loveland Pass and stop at A-Basin and ski all day for 20 bucks and come home in NO traffic. I loved that if I were feeling restless I could take off and drive up Lookout Mountain. I loved that I could walk to the Art Museum (though I wished it had more art). I was as happy as possible for a bird who needed to fledge but was stuck in a nest. Sure I published some stuff and had a one woman show of my paintings, but still. WHERE WAS THE WORLD???

Secondary Characteristics

Me in front of my painting, “Secondary Characteristics” Cafe Nepenthes, Denver, March, 1981

I sent out feelers all the time — and when a school in China invited me to come and teach I went, never expecting that I would miss the mountains. The front range of the Rockies, as seen from Denver, had been my friends all my life. “Look, MAK,” said my dad as he held me up to look west when I was 2 years old, “those are mountains.” Mt. Evans, in particular, was a beauty, the love for which I shared with my precious Aunt Martha. My own favorite was Longs Peak. Once in China, I missed the mountains though there was no disputing that watching water buffalo and teaching English beat everything I’d known so far. I got to experience life in a vastly different language and political system. I loved it. I’d been right about myself, but still, home was home…

I returned, did some great things in Denver not long after I got back, but the marriage (hopeless but still…) catapulted me to California where I’d never wanted to live. And there I stayed for 30 years. More exposure, more cities, loves and work and teaching and small hills that taught me to see, nothing bad about it. I would not have missed it. A couple of visits “home” but…

You can’t go home again. Denver, as I knew it and belonged in it, is gone. It was so clear to me after I dropped off a friend at Denver International Airport and then headed down to friends in Colorado Springs. I drove toward the mountains and the freeway (on which I’d learned to drive on freeways) imagining a young woman just getting up, going into her kitchen and making a smoothie she’d then take into the bathroom. She’d shower, dry her hair, drink her smoothie, get ready for her job as a paralegal in a large Denver law firm. I imagined the young woman leaving her apartment, locking the door, and heading out down 13th Street, across the Capital lawn, and down 17th street. The grass would be frosty-crunchy and the sunrise would climb up the faces of Mt. Evans and Longs Peak. I imagined coming out of a side street, walking up to the young woman and saying, “You WILL see things. You will have a lot of adventures — some happy, some not. You’ll love and be loved. You’ll do all the things you’re dreaming of today. Relax in that knowledge, please, and love this moment because you — as you are today — and this city — as it is today — will be gone before you know it.” Then I would give the young woman a hug and vanish.


Then (1977)


Now (2014)

At that moment, Mohammed’s Radio played this song and I cried as long as it lasted, for my lost youth and my lost city and in gratitude for fulfilled dreams and for new ones.

Interestingly, Chrissie Hynde is my age.

Ain’t Goin’ Out Like That…

Daily Prompt Cue the Violins If your life were a movie, what would its soundtrack be like? What songs, instrumental pieces, and other sound effects would be featured on the official soundtrack album?

One of Denver’s “nothing” streets, E. 13th Avenue. It wasn’t Colfax, where it was all happening and it was a zoo, but it worked. Every morning I launched myself from my apartment on 12th and Marion and arrived half hour later at the law firm on 17th and Welton. I didn’t take exactly the same route every day, and, after I’d made the walk for a while, I turned it into a loop. Going? Down past the capital building, then across the park to Broadway, then to 16th street — much more interesting before the Mall was built — then over to work. Coming home? Up 17th street past Trinity Methodist church. The map below shows it exactly — down on the blue dotted line, back on the gray trail that’s NOT Colfax.


One morning, as I passed a large brick apartment building I (inexplicably) noticed the sounds of passing traffic. Maybe because it was the first warm day after a longish winter, and people had their windows rolled down, I heard music coming from the various cars. At that moment I had the idea that it would make a cool movie, just this, my 7 a.m. walk to work and the sound track, radios and tape decks of the random passing songs. (You don’t hear any of this if you’re wearing ear buds, but the Walkman had not yet been invented and/or if it had, I couldn’t have afforded one.)

So if you ask me for the sound track for MY life? I’d say it’s just that. Me moving along toward the destination accompanied by random, passing songs. The most dramatic of these moments happened in San Diego, at the corner of University and 54th. This is a mixed neighborhood in every way. It is near housing where many brand-new immigrants go to live. The ethnic mixture of this hood changed almost daily. At this particular moment, the Cambodians were moving on, leaving a gap that would be filled by Eritreans, Somalis and Afghanis. New immigrants still wear their “colorful national costumes.” It was also a neighborhood with a lot of gang activity — Mexican and African American territorial disputes raged constantly, and, at that point, the Hells Angels were still a presence. And within all that were people like me just trying to put a life together in one of the only financially affordable (it’s not any more) sections in San Diego.

It was the mid/late 90s. I was in a friend’s truck, coming down the hill from school to this intersection. On this corner was a largish and newer Asian mall with a restaurant and grocery story, pool hall, manicure shop, etc. Across the street was the soon to be defunct Jewish Community center. Across from that was K-Mart and a Chinese restaurant of the all-you-can-eat buffet variety. The next corner was houses, up on a hill. My friend had just asked if I’d ever heard Cypress Hill. I’d just asked what kind of music it was. He’d just said, “Rap,” and I’d just said, “I don’t like rap,” and he’d just answered, “Listen to this anyway.” At the moment we reached the intersection, the whole mad reality of City Heights, San Diego, was crossing the street in front of us, this song came on. Never has the vision of street reality coincided so perfectly with a song, the sound track of the moment.

All They’d Have to Do Is…

Daily Prompt Trick or Trick It’s Halloween, and you just ran out of candy. If the neighborhood kids (or anyone else, really) were to truly scare you, what trick would they have to subject you to?

…give me daily prompt like this one would do it! Seriously? You want a REAL answer to this in a PUBLIC place?  As for fear — I’ll tell you about fear. You really want that? There’s nothing funny about it. For the last five — six — years I’ve been intermittently frightened and with reason, but before that? Oh baby. I’m not a person who likes scary movies or scary stories. I’ve had a scary life. You want details?

SO, instead, a little post about moving into new places on Hallowe’en. Not in the least scary, sorry…

Three times now I’ve moved into a new place around Hallowe’en. The first to my first apartment as a single woman. It was an upstairs apartment in a duplex near Washington Park in Denver; it dated from the turn of the century. It was never meant to be an apartment, but the upstairs to the downstairs. It had no heat unless the guy downstairs turned it on and I opened the door leading downstairs. The apartment saw many adventures, perhaps typical adventures of the newly-single 20 something. I moved from there in spring to an efficiency in the Bat Guano Arms in Capital Hill. Though the place was not “me” (meaning it was modern and convenient) I had a happy six months there but around the middle of October, 1979, I saw my dream apartment in The Dalton.

My lease to Bat Guano Arms was over on October 31 so I planned to move into The Dalton on the first of November. (If you follow the link, my apartment is what they now call “The Canterbury” and you can see actual photos of it…not as it was when I lived there, but… My rent was $145/month.) I had a VW Bug, Blue and helpers with their cars. My best friend — let’s call her Windy — and a guy from work who wanted to do me and felt helping me move was a decent payment on that opportunity. My dream apartment in Denver was a lot like my little dream house here in Monte Vista.

You don’t have a lot of stuff when you live in an efficiency apartment. All I had of any mass was my dad’s desk — which I managed to fit into the back of my bug. Don’t ask me how, but it had become a “thing” with me to prove that anything a semi-truck could do my VW could do…in more trips, of course.

The night was Denver fall — chilly but not terribly cold, with the oblique light of an autumn sunset. At a certain point we found ourselves in a store near a favorite bookstore. Was it a drugstore? I don’t know, but I think so.  It had a lunch counter, surprising to us. A German couple ran the store. They asked us to sit down. They served us cider and an assortment of canapes. The moment was disorienting enough to change the character of the evening. From then on, it seemed enchanted.

The sky went from orange/purple to black half-moon night as we took the last furniture into my new apartment. I had no bed yet, so I slept in the old place, knowing I would have a bed the next day — a futon for which I’d “mortgaged” my car. I would pick it and the frame up the next day and bring them back in my Bug (two trips).  I loved living there and nothing less than the chance to live and work in China could have shifted me out.

Do Be Do Be Do

Daily Prompt Verbal Confirmation To be, to have, to think, to move — which of these verbs is the one you feel most connected to? Or is there another verb that characterizes you better?

Wes was a lot of things, but one of the more amazing things to me was that he was almost a dead ringer for my brother. The first time I saw him as he came through the law firm delivering mail with Art, the head mail boy (sounds redundant, doesn’t it?), I thought, “Holy shit, is that KIRK?” But it was Wes. Strangely, it wasn’t just Wes; it was Wes KENNEDY. Wes Kennedy was from Loosiana and was both talented and driven. He wanted to make his living as an artist. He’d gone to school at Louisiana State in Baton Rouge, but dropped out and moved to Denver. Just like that.

We became best friends and nearly became lovers, but didn’t. Wes revealed one night after we’d been wrestling on my couch — “My girlfriend? The one I’ve been telling you about all this time? Well, her name is Ken.” I remember getting up from the sofa laughing hysterically. Wes thought he should  call a hospital, fearing his revelation had pushed me over the edge, but it hadn’t. It was just ironic and funny and sad and frustrating. You see, my REAL boyfriend, Peter, who was then teaching in Saudi Arabia, was also…gay. I decided then that all gay guys should wear signs.

Once this minor little thing was sorted out, we became very close. We were neighbor’s in Denver’s Capital Hill — he lived in an old house on Lafayette just up from Colfax, and I lived in a faux-Spanish apartment a block and a half away from him on Humboldt. One of the things we enjoyed doing together was attending life drawing sessions at Muddy Waters of the Platte, a Denver landmark, a late 70’s institution, a paradisal home-away-from-home, open all hours, coffee house, restaurant, book store, theater and much more. Every Monday night we drove across the Speer Street Viaduct (RIP) with our pads of newsprint and sometimes “real” drawing paper. We’d each put $5 into the hat in front of the stage for the model, and sit down, usually right next to each other. Wes was left handed, I am right, so we could do that. Wes smoked and I didn’t, and we drew along with a handful of others who thought three hours sitting in old theater seats on a Monday evening drawing a naked person was a good time.

Muddy’s was a philosophical, artsy-fartsy kind of place. It was a magnet for the Denver youthful wannabe (and real) avant garde. Even the graffiti on the bathroom walls carried the slightly sardonic, semi-intellectual tone that would reach the “inner circle” we, one way or another, believed ourselves to be.

1Time has shown that I am “Do, be, do, be, do.” And Wes is dead.

Photos by Kim Allen, Denver Photo Archives

Blue Tits…

It was one of my favorite paintings. A model — a larger older woman with immense sagging breasts — had modeled for us at the pay and play modeling session at the (RIP and much loved) Muddy Waters of the Platte in Denver back in the VERY early 80s (like 1980 itself). I sat beside my great friend, Wes Kennedy, and sketched. From the sketch came a painting, gouache, this woman, headless, painted in shades of blue. The background was orange/red and made by painting through lace paper. It had the effect of a tile wall or a medieval fresco or a background on a Japanese dish.

Wes wasn’t happy when I got a show. He’d always planned to be an artist (so had I, if it comes to that) and he worked hard to finally get a show. His first show was in a gallery; mine was in a coffee house, Cafe Nepenthes (RIP and much loved) on the back side of Larimer Square in Denver. The owner of the coffee house liked the paintings because they were figurative art. “People aren’t doing figures much any more. It’s a nice change from abstract.” So the day came and angry though Wes was (envious? resentful?) he helped me hang the show.

Since I often ate lunch there, while the show was running I had the odd pleasure of sitting there over my sandwich (pita bread, jack cheese, alfalfa sprouts and seeded mustard, grilled — yum) and listening to patrons comment on the work. Usually it was entertaining but once it was so funny I nearly ended up with mustard up my nose.

“I like that one.”
“Which one?
“In the corner by the window.”
“Yeah, that’s nice. Go see how much!”

The guy wandered over. That was 1981 and $700/month was still a decent salary. The painting — which I didn’t really want to sell — had a high price: $250. The man looked at the tag and jumped back. “No way, no fucking way am I spending $250 for a pair of giant blue tits!”

Sorry I don’t have a photo of it to post — but that stuff is all packed.

P.S. I’ve noticed in the past that posts in which I use the “F” word are seldom read. I do not know if WP censors or these posts are flagged for language or not public or what — but no other word can possibly convey that guy’s intense reaction to the price tag. Not changing it. Not writing “effing” or any other squishy retreat from real words used by real people in (somewhat) real places.

“Fear Tells Us Nothing”

DAILY PROMPT Fearless Fantasies How would your life be different if you were incapable of feeling fear? Would your life be better or worse than it is now? 

Not so, my complicated beloved. Fear is informative. Paranoia or neurosis, well maybe those aren’t so useful but fear? Fear is good. I know this because I took you at your word that evening and let your sentence inform my life. I loved you and I thought you were smarter than I. Maybe I wanted to be a little more like you and a little less like me. But after all, I learned useful things about fear not from you but from rattlesnakes.

Rattlesnakes, Martha?

Yes, Peter. Rattlesnakes. For many, many years after I moved to California, I hiked every day in the chaparral.

California? I always picture you in Denver.

I picture you there, too, but of course you’re actually dead and Denver is not the Denver we knew.

Hiking, huh. In California? Well, you always liked that nature thing. Rattlesnakes?

People — me too — are categorically afraid of rattlesnakes. It took me many snake encounters (one a day during “snake season”) to understand fear. I learned the difference between a snake that was just chilling and a snake I should worry about. I stepped over snakes without seeing them more than once, too, but usually I saw them. My first encounter terrified me. I got that whole “Zero at the bone” Emily Dickinson went on about.

I hardly think you can say Emily Dickinson “went on” about anything.

Touché. After a while, though I was never exactly blasé over the rattlesnake thing, the snakes became a feature of a landscape and I liked to see them.


But the one time I needed fear it was there and it helped me. I’d stepped off the trail with two of my dogs because mountain bikers were approaching. They were 100 feet away, maybe less. I always hiked with a four foot long stick — my mom called it a “snake stick” and I called it a hiking stick, but I did use it to warn snakes by pounding the ground when I hiked and it was long enough to move a snake safely away from me or a dog if I had to. Just as we stepped off the trail I heard a frantic “buzz.” I looked down and a small snake was inches from my dog’s face. Though I was not aware of it at the specific moment, time had slowed down — a powerful property of fear giving us an interval to master the moment. I looked at the snake. It was ready to strike. I lifted my stick and placed it directly between the snake’s sharp end and my dog’s face. The result? The snake backed off in surprise and vanished in the grass. I looked up, expecting that the mountain bikers would have passed, but they were still nearly as far away from us as they had been when I stepped off the trail.

What’s the point?

Fear gives us superpowers when it’s legitimate fear and not some neurotic pseudo-fear.

Yes, but what I was saying to you that night was that if you would stop being afraid of divorcing your abusive husband you would be happy.

That was all you were saying?

You understood me. Do you remember what you did that night?

Yes. I made the decision. Two days later I filed the papers.

Yes. What I meant, Martha, is that fear can be an obstacle to growth and progress. You should have been afraid of HIM all those years, not afraid of me.

Oh Peter. Be fair. You were dangerous, objectively and truly dangerous.

I know. I wish it had not been that way. You wrote about us, didn’t you?

I did. I hope I wrote well. For all its problems and impossibility, ours was a great love and one that demanded courage from us both. There is no courage without fear and life without courage would be an empty thing.


Snake by Emily Dickinson

A narrow fellow in the grass
Occasionally rides;
You may have met him, -did you not?
His notice sudden is.

The grass divides as with a comb,
A spotted shaft is seen;
And then it closes at your feet
And opens further on.

He likes a boggy acre,
A floor too cool for corn.
Yet when a child, and barefoot,
I more than once, at morn,

Have passed, I thought, a whip-lash
Unbraiding in the sun, –
When, stooping to secure it,
It wrinkled, and was gone.

Several of nature’s people
I know, and they know me;
I feel for them a transport
Of cordiality;

But never met this fellow,
Attended or alone,
Without a tighter breathing,
And zero at the bone.

P. S. Dear Daily Prompt: The main way our lives would be different if we did not feel fear is that most of us would be dead prematurely.  Still, here’s a little something related to the subject of fear and its usefulness.